ACT Made Simple
About the Book
Why is it so hard to be happy? Why is life so difficult? Why do humans suffer so much? And what can we realistically do about it? No matter how rewarding your job, as a mental health professional, you may sometimes feel helpless in the face of these questions. You are also well-aware of the challenges and frustrations that can present during therapy.
If you are looking for ways to optimize your client sessions, consider joining the many thousands of therapists and life coaches worldwide who are learning acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). ACT is not just a proven effective treatment for depression, anxiety, stress, addictions, eating disorders, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, and myriad other psychological issues that focuses on mindfulness, client values, and a commitment to change. It's also a revolutionary new way to view the human condition, packed full of exciting new tools, techniques, and strategies for promoting profound behavioral change.
A practical and entertaining primer, ideal for ACT newcomers and experienced ACT professionals alike, ACT Made Simple offers clear explanations of the six ACT processes and a set of real-world tips and solutions for rapidly and effectively implementing them in your practice. This book gives you everything you need to start using ACT with your clients for impressive results. Inside, you'll find: scripts, exercises, metaphors, and worksheets to use with your clients; a session-by-session guide to implementing ACT; transcripts from therapy sessions; guidance for creating your own therapeutic techniques and exercises; and practical tips to overcome 'therapy roadblocks.'
This book aims to take the complex theory and practice of ACT and make it accessible and enjoyable for both you, the therapist, and your clients.
Books by Russ Harris
Books by Steven C. Hayes
“Russ Harris is an open, centered, and engaged teacher of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and, in ACT Made Simple, he succeeds in delivering a transparent account of a complex and powerful treatment. I recommend this book to mental health and medical providers and to their teachers.”
— Patricia J. Robinson, Ph.D., coauthor of Behavioral Consultation and Primary Care and The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Depression
“ACT Made Simple is simply the most accessible book written to date for therapists interested in learning ACT. Russ Harris explains ACT concepts in a style that is both engaging and straightforward. His advice on overcoming therapy roadblocks is invaluable and will be useful to both novice and experienced ACT practitioners.”
— Jason B. Luoma, Ph.D., psychologist at Portland Psychotherapy Clinic, Research, and Training Center
“Perhaps the most elegant, easily digestible book on using the principles of mindfulness and acceptance to improve your own life and the lives of others. Inside are a litany of creative exercises and strategies that are ready for immediate use. But none of the benefits would be possible without the supportive, entertaining voice of Russ Harris. There is something new to be learned with each reading.”
— Todd B. Kashdan, Ph.D., professor of psychology at George Mason University and author of Curious? Discover the Missing Ingredient to a Fulfilling Life
“ACT aims to increase psychological flexibility. Learn from this book and you'll be doing ACT rather than just talking about doing ACT. And you’ll be doing it with greaterflexibility.”
— Hank Robb, Ph.D., ABPP
“Let’s face it: psychological concerns are complex. If modern behavior therapy is to rise to the occasion of reducing human suffering, it will require a similarly intricate and comprehensive approach. ACT attempts to provide a multifaceted treatment model to address these complexities, and ACT Made Simple has risen to the occasion by reducing the difficulties in understanding the unique ACT approach. Harris’s expressive style is matchless. Comprehensive scientific and clinical literature rarely reads this well. This is a clear, understandable introduction to a powerful intervention approach. Many practitioners who are new to ACT will want to start with ACT Made Simple.”
— Daniel J. Moran, Ph.D., BCBA, coauthor of ACT in Practice
“This much-needed book is a must for mental health clinicians interested in learning ACT. True to his physician roots, Harris has taken a very practical approach to understanding ACT. He does a wonderful job of taking complicated ACT concepts and making them easy to understand. His writing is full of wit, self-disclosure, and down-to-earth communication. Readers of this book will finish it with a much better understanding of core ACT principles and interventions.”
— Kirk D. Strosahl, Ph.D., coauthor of The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Depression
“For newcomers to ACT, there is no better place to start than with this book. Russ Harris masterfully makes ACT come alive with an accessible writing style and illustrative examples of its application in alleviating a wide range of types of human suffering. Practical tips and homework assignments throughout will actively engage you to go beyond merely reading about ACT and begin to apply it to your own life and in your work with clients. For those who may have been holding out for ACT for Dummies, the wait is over. This book is for you!”
— Robert Zettle, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Wichita State University and author of ACT for Depression
“For those of you who train or supervise nurses, physicians, social workers, or other professionals unffamiliar with psychological lingo, ACT Made Simple is a must. Russ Harris has succeeded in the challenge of translating difficult psychological concepts embedded in ACT into plain, colorful, diverse language that anyone working clinically will understand. Each section is simply organized, easy to follow, and user-friendly. Harris has included highly useful sections of practical tips and common pitfalls that even the trained ACT therapist will find useful. I highly recommend ACT Made Simple as a primer for ACT training.”
— JoAnne Dahl, Ph.D., author of The Art and Science of Valuing in Psychotherapy
“ACT Made Simple is just that. Dr. Harris has, once again, written a very accessible book that should be read by all clinicians wanting to learn, engage, or otherwise implement ACT in their practices. This book is a must for ACT readers. My thanks to Dr. Harris for making ACT so user-friendly and understandable.”
— Robyn D. Walser, Ph.D., author of The Mindful Couple